Disneyland Resort Update: More River Guardians of the Star Wars Galaxy

Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA

Welcome to April... that time of the year when Spring Break really kicks into gear, and you can pretty much say goodbye to quiet time at the Disneyland Resort until after Labor Day and before the Halloween season goes up.  Today, we have yet another update of the main happenings-on at the parks, so lets jump right into it!

Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout!

Last weekend saw the reveal of even more of the former Tower of Terror, and much to the apparent dismay of most people who saw it, this wasn't an April Fools prank.  Yes, The Collector's Fortress is looking every bit as utterly outrageous (using that word literally) as the concept art, and the reveal has attracted its fair share of commentary.

On Friday, I posted a picture of the tower on my Disney Photoblography Instagram.  Little did I know that before the weekend was through, this would be come one of my highest activity photos ever, racking up over 1800 likes and nearly 100 comments!  For the sake of science, and in the interest of tracking perception versus reality in today's social media / immediate [over]reaction world, I decided to track the responses, since by scrolling, a majority of them were grossly negative.  By my tally, out of 96 comments (Instagram counts the original caption as a "comment" too), 8 were overtly positive, 42 were neutral/not applicable (people tagging other people, people asking questions, people posting replies that could be interpreted either way), and 46 were flat out negative.  That's a pretty significant percentage out of a relatively large cross section compared to usual! 

On the other hand, it's worth noting that my photo also received over 1800 likes--presumably from people who did not actually hate what they saw.  That "like" rate is twice the amount of likes I average normally, when I post pretty pictures that don't look like a giant Freddy Krueger disemboweled a tower and turns its guts inside out and hung it out in the sun for all to behold.  So there's something to be said about the noise we hear versus what the majority of people might actually think.  And if you think I'm also making an allegory on our current times, congratulations!  You're perceptive!  Anyway, lets take a look at the building.  And if you feel strongly enough, make your voice heard in the comments to this post!

Now, in all honesty, in person, it doesn't look quite as bad as it does in isolated photos.  Now, don't get me wrong--I do think it looks rather horrid, especially in context.  But there's a quality to the building that is bizarrely cool in and of itself, isolated, because it's incredibly different... and because it has a spiffy, fresh paint of coat right now.  To put it another way, I expected it to be very, very, very, very, very, very, very bad.  Live, I thought it merely looked very, very, very, very bad.  So, you know... baby steps!

Regardless of the sentiments about the exterior of the ride, I have pretty good faith that the actual ride itself will be a lot of fun and grow to become a large fan favorite.  And much like the Pompidou Center, to which I have alluded multiple times in the past, it will open to universal shaming as everyone lambasts the building for its completely shocking appearance, then become a beloved favorite of the locals after a few years, once people have gotten used to it, to a point where one day, most people won't be able to imagine a DCA without this. 

Such is the circle of public opinion.  The DisneyWebz will be fun come Memorial Day weekend, when Guardians of the Galaxy - Missiong: Breakout! opens.

Rivers of America

Perhaps because this first major overhaul of a section of Disneyland will be coming later this summer, I'm actually more excited about the progress on the Rivers of America than I am "Star Wars" Land, which won't open for another two years.  But the Rivers, its attractions, the Disneyland Railroad, and Tom Sawyer Island are all slated to reopen this summer, and while there's still plenty of work to do, the progress coming along looks pretty exciting.  Rockwork along the backside of the river onto Big Thunder Trail continues, and added vegetation continues to densify to build back that rustic ambiance that bordered Frontierland and the Rivers of America.  The new theming along the re-routed Disneyland Railroad is sure to provide some wonderful photographic opportunities, and the transition from the rest of the park to "Star Wars" Land promises to be very seamless and naturalistic.

"Star Wars" Land

For a change of pace, I figured I'd throw "Star Wars" Land toward the end of the update. You know... to draw suspense.  Plus, if you're one who detests the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction, this is probably a better palate cleanser than the other way around, which would have seen the update end of ex-Tower.

Work continues in "Star Wars" Land.  With more and more steel going up for the First Order attraction, it's getting tougher to discern detail in other parts of the land obscured by the vertical construction.  But as construction continues, it's beginning to become apparent just how sprawling and massive "Star Wars" Land's main E-Ticket attraction will actually be.  It takes up a vast parcel of real estate here!

Oh, and Also...

Running through miscellaneous items I bothered to photograph.

That is it for today's mentally meandering update.  Food & Wine Festival runs two more weekends, through Easter Sunday the 16th.  And right now is a special double theme park food festival whammy with the concurrent run of Knott's Boysenberry Festival through April 23rd.  So if you enjoy good eats at theme parks, and you live in Southern California, you have no excuse to not get out there and enjoy the offerings!


Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.